This degree will develop your knowledge of the education system in the UK and beyond. You'll enter into key debates about policy issues with a focus on social justice and equality, and understand education from a multidisciplinary perspective.
Why study BA Education, Culture & Society at Goldsmiths?
- We offer you the opportunity to take up accredited placements at a range of organisations involving anything from working on literacy with Bengali women or supporting year 3 students with SEN at a primary school to developing educational materials at a city farm or putting together an art exhibition at a pupil referral unit for excluded secondary school students. Through these placements we help you both develop your own future career and make a positive impact on your local community.
- Do you already work in an education or community setting? We work with you so that you can use this as key information to inform your studies. For their assignments, past students have interviewed young people they have been supporting and have created resources for children with special educational needs from countries where they have connections, such as Ghana and Slovakia.
- You'll develop an understanding of the role of education in diverse societies in the UK and beyond
- You'll be taught by staff who are experts in their field
- Our teaching is informed by a commitment to social justice and inclusion, which is reflected in our diverse study body
- You'll have the chance to study abroad for one term in China or Luxembourg
- We offer support for your personal and career development through our personal progress programme, supported by staff in the department and the College, through tutorials and workshops which will help you to reflect on your personal, academic and employment goals and support you in developing your communication skills
- We encourage discussion, debate and critical reflection, and will help you relate theory to real-life experiences
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Anna Carlile
Modules & structure
The programme is designed to promote understanding and critical reflection on the role of education in diverse societies and how the system continues to be shaped by social, political and economic factors. There is an emphasis on what counts as knowledge; the interrelationship between education, the individual and society and the tensions that can arise in a system that advocates education for all but mediates against the full participation of some groups. We think this emphasis on inclusion is a unique quality of the degree and a sound preparation for employment in this area.
We are also proud of the strong creativity strand that permeates the programme and reflects our expertise in visual and performing arts. If you are interested in employment in the creative industries, with a focus on education, this is the degree for you.
Your pathway through the degree is individually designed, offering you the opportunity to create combinations that match your interests and/or intended career route. You take part in seminars, lectures, tutorials, studio practice, performances and personal research.
In the first year you take four core modules that will introduce you to the interaction between:
- identity and culture
- learning and thinking
- creativity and learning
- historical and philosophical perspectives on education
These modules introduce you to key concepts in relation to the psychology, sociology, history and philosophy of education and provide the foundation for selecting options offered in the second year. In Year 1 there is also a study skills module that is integrated across the four core units. It is designed to support the development of the skills you need to be a successful student at university level.
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For the second year you choose a combination of three modules from the options outlined below. These are likely to be informed by both your interests and intended career paths.
In addition all students follow a compulsory unit on research in Education which prepares you both to read and evaluate educational research and to conduct a small research project of your own.
All Level 5 options build upon and further explore the issues raised in Level 4 modules. Please note that options are regularly reviewed and new modules developed.
At Level 6 you study two further advanced modules and undertake a dissertation. You determine the focus for your dissertation in collaboration with an allocated dissertation tutor. The dissertation offers you the opportunity to work with a leading academic on a one-to-one basis and the possibility of making links with a sector you intend to work within once you've graduated. A short research methods module will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to undertake the dissertation confidently.
A distinctive element of the third year is the opportunity to spend time studying abroad. Goldsmiths has close links with a number of universities with which it undertakes student exchanges.
Please note: certain Level 6 options require a specific module-unit to have been taken in Level 5. This will be explained in detail before choices are made. New modules are developed in response to changing contexts.
The Department of Educational Studies acknowledges that we learn in different ways and that assessments need to reflect this, so you'll be assessed through a combination of essays, examinations, written assignments, exhibitions, presentations (including multimedia), reports, practice-based assessments and dissertation.
Credits and levels of learning
An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.
Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects
We welcome applications from candidates with non-traditional routes.
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including a number of distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBCC (Higher), BCC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 73%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A2 A2 A2 B1
If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
Read more about our general entrance requirements.
Education at Goldsmiths is ranked 8th in the UK for the quality of our research**
As a department we’re interested in seeing what education can tell us about the social, political and economic forces of our times. And what these forces mean for the everyday lives of individuals and groups.
We see education as a window through which to view the world, and as something with the power to define who we are and how we live.
That’s why our research delves into areas including culture and identity, gender, multilingualism, and youth cultures, and why we maintain a commitment to social justice and inclusion.
Find out more about the Department of Educational Studies.
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
Learning & teaching
On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.
But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.
This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers.
Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:
- Independent learning
Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.
Skills & careers
This programme helps you develop:
- analytical and critical thinking skills
- the ability to synthesise and distil information and communicate ideas in writing and other media
- presentation skills
- interpersonal communicative attributes
- the ability to work independently and as part of a team
- expertise in carrying out personal research and working to deadlines
The knowledge, understanding and skills you can develop on this degree are transferable to a range of professions such as:
- primary school teaching
- working in the creative industries
- youth and community work
- social work
- educational administration
- other areas that require a specialist knowledge of education, such as charities and the leisure industries
If you are considering primary teaching, you will need to combine your degree with a one-year PGCE. Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Education, Culture and Society guarantees you an interview for Goldsmiths’ highly regarded PGCE Primary programme, provided you meet current government requirements.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Fees & funding
Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.
We produce reading packs electronically and in hard copy format. There’s a small charge for the hard copy reading packs. You may also be asked to contribute towards trips and some materials for your modules.